INVESTIGATION INTO THE DEATH SENTENCE OF TRACY BEATTY
The documentary which was the starting point of this investigation presented a Jekyll-and-Hyde portrait of the subject Tracy Beatty. While the reporter and narrator, Dr Michelle Ward, Phd, and Beatty's daughter, Tamara Beatty, presented the man as abusive and violent, Beatty himself, speaking live from the visiting booth at the death row facility in Livingston, Tx, spoke with calm and direct simplicity, and didn't display any sign of deception in his speech, gaze or demeanor. This gave his account of the homicide great credibility especially since he says that he's making this video because he will soon be executed. And since the homicide he described made him responsible of nothing more than involuntary manslaughter, I couldn't understand why he was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death.
In early April 2015 I wrote to Beatty, expressing sympathy and concern regarding what I saw as an unjust conviction. We wrote each other and a friendship was born.
ANOMALIES AT TRIAL:
I obtained a copy of the 2014 Decision by the US Court of Appeals ("the Decision") on Beatty's appeal and observed that at trial during the guilt phase his attorneys
- "didn't put on any evidence after the state rested its case in chief" (18) ... "didn't argue that Beatty had not committed murder" (20) "During the punishment phase the state presented evidence in support of the death penalty. The defense team did not present any evidence" (23);
- The defense team didn't cross-examine the witness who testified to what Click told her ("I told [him] to leave today"), nor did it object to the hearsay nature of the testimony, since the deceased couldn't be cross-examined. We know from the video that Click told Beatty he had until December 16 (video at (26:37): "She wanted me out by the time I totally discharged my sentence by the 16th of december. She said "I don't want you here after that." ";
- didn't present an alternative theory of the case, the true facts and background, to show that Beatty came home drunk (Video at 28:53) with only the intent to lie down to sleep and that he had no desire to have an argument with his mother (Decision at 16), who then assaulted him and ignored his ultimatum to cease and desist from assaulting him.
- In his closing argument defense lawyer Perkins compromised even more Beatty's chance for an acquittal:
*- by using inflammatory language against him, speaking of "his threats" (20) —which didn't exist—: three years after 9/11 this word was used in the media like a mantra and people reacted to it with instinctive fear;
*- by reminding the jury in a long sentence that Beatty had thought about killing his mother with a hammer: "You know, remember the hammer thing..." (Decision at 20) also inflammatory against Beatty;
*- by explaining in a very poorly worded and confusing manner that the state hadn't proved the elements of intent to harm and unlawful entry (Decision at 20-21)
*- by referring to himself as "an idiot", giving the jury license to ignore the entire defense;
*- and by saying that the most likely explanation for the killing was "...what the evidence supports the most is that he killed her because they had a longstanding, stormy relationship."
all this leading to the predictable outcome of a guilty verdict, the jury filing out of the courtroom with these negative thoughts about Beatty planted in their minds by Beatty's own attorney.
- Beatty had been examined by a psychiatrist and a psychologist but the defense team didn't call them to the witness stand during the punishment phase of the trial because, according to attorney Perkins, (23) "...neither would testify because each believed Beatty to be a future danger to society." Having exchanged letters with Beatty since late April 2015 I can say that he is not angry at society in general, nor does he harbor any hatred towards anybody, any class of people, which are traits commonly found in random killers. Beatty never assaulted strangers.
But there was a huge amount of mitigating information which the psys could have provided, in particular on the effects his upbringing and birth circumstances, as well as self-medicating drug use, could have had on his psychological make up. The psys should have been able to say that Beatty would benefit from psychotherapy, but they viewed him as a hopeless case.
The prosecution's theory was extremely contrived because the unlawful entry element rested entirely on the assumption that Beatty having been kicked out of his mother's house "today" according to witness McCarty, he was no longer an inhabitant of the house. But from the Decision (16) and the video (28:53) we know that Beatty walked in the front door as usual and that his mother was waiting for him, so the unlawful entry element of the case fails, and so does the capital murder.
The prosecution also asked the jury to make a faulty leap of logic, because it implied that the eviction by Beatty's mother made him angry and that this anger motivated a desire to retaliate, which was the cause of the homicide. However people who are angry do not always retaliate. And we see here that Beatty's mental state, which the prosecution had to prove, was not even angry.
But we know from the Decision ( at 58, 4 lines before end of paragraph) that the jurors reasoned that if Beatty was kicked out earlier that day according to McCarty's testimony, he was technically committing a burglary when he returned home at 10PM, even though he used the front door as usual and found his mother sitting on a chair waiting for him. Frightened by the portrait of an unpredictable and violent man, the jury used this flimsy evidence as an excuse to convict.
On appeal, attorney Scott Smith did not challenge any of these extraordinary violations of the defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial, yet those grounds could have won Beatty a re-trial.
I could only conclude that the death penalty was the outcome which was sought from the start, with the indictment for capital murder (18) and no lesser charge from the outset, and that neither Beatty's defense attorneys nor his appellate attorney did anything to prevent it. But why was Beatty's death so important, and to whom? It could not be only a career enhancement device on the part of the prosecutor, because the participation of the defense attorney was undeniable.
TWO JULY LETTERS BEATTY SENT TO ME
- In a letter dated July 4, Beatty mentioned that his daughters came to visit:
"They were both here recently and it seemed as if they were looking for something. I could tell that each of them wanted to ask things but didn't."
- In a letter dated July 8, Beatty mentioned again his daughters visit and asked me to search the internet for any information on them because their behavior had unsettled him: "While you're next at your computer could you get on line and find out what my daughters are saying. You'll find them on Face Book and also maybe elsewhere... I don't give a damn what you find (good or bad) print it and send it to me. They were both here recently but things between us isn't the way it was before. Tam seemed to be searching for something and Tiffany was anxious to get away."
He also asked me for the second or third time to send him a transcript of the documentary that was made about him by Dr. Michelle Ward, to know what other people were saying about him.
On july 13, 2015 he went to court for a hearing, where his death warrant was signed, with the date of execution scheduled for August 13. The execution was stayed on August 11.
THE VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
On July 18, 2015 I made the transcript myself and sent it to him, and searched the internet but found no information on Tamara Beatty's My Space page nor on Tiffany. This prompted me to read again the transcript of the video I had made a few days earlier and for the first time I realized that Tamara's portrait of her father was completely negative and she spoke with great confidence as if she had personal knowledge of events which occurred before her birth, like how her mother fell in love with her father (10:14) . But the tipping point was when she alleged that Beatty put out a cigarette on her skin when she was a baby because he was angry that she had soiled her diaper! (11:33) This allegation is so outrageous and she doesn't even show us a scar! How could a man burn a baby with a cigarette? I just couldn't believe it, and from then on became skeptical about everything Tamara said.
At 21:05 Tamara even alleges that her father may have killed an inmate, as if such homicides went unpunished and were kept under wraps by the prison administration: ..."I wouldn't be surprised if he even killed on the inside." With this allegation she reveals her bias against her father and loses all credibility. She also shows an effort to convince the audience that her father is a dangerous killer, even though there is no record of Beatty ever assaulting anyone in the free world, except his mother.
So when at the end of the video she says (42:08) "I would like for my face to be one of the last faces that he sees. I am glad that he got the death penalty and I feel that justice has been served once he's executed... and I mean I do love him and I forgive him". I believe that she's lying, that she knows that her father's execution is unjust, and that the real reason for her presence is not an act of love as she claims. So her reason for wanting to attend her father's execution has to be to obtain immediately his death certificate, and the first reason that comes to mind is that she needs it to file a life-insurance claim. But her father has never mentioned this insurance to me so he must be unaware of its existence and if so the policy is fraudulent.
BEATTY'S EARLY LETTERS TO ME
Seeking confirmation I read again all the letters Beatty had sent to me.
- in the first one, dated 4/28/15 he writes "I tried to tell my daughters that it would be a mistake for me to parole to Carolyn's place, but they loved us both and wanted to see us mend the wounds of hers and mine and restore the parent/child relationship between us."
- in the letter dated May 25, 2015, he writes "Prior to letting my daughters talk me into moving in with her ... I had not seen nor heard from her in 10½ years"...
This shows that his original intent was to live apart from his mother once released from prison, and that he acceded to his daughters' entreaties against his better judgement.
If Tamara considered her father dangerous as she keeps saying in the video, why did she and her sister Tiffany plead with him to go live with his mother in October 2003? Indeed at 18:46 she says of her grandmother: "She was scared for her life. Pressing charges was probably the only way that she was able to protect herself from him, knowing that he would be incarcerated again." and when Click told her that she had asked Beatty to leave, she says at 27:28 "My words to my grandmother were "He's probably going to kill you!"
In the first letter, Beatty also reveals important détails about his mother and his feelings for her, which contradict the prosecution's claim: "If there was a way to go back to the night that I killed her, I would do something else. I didn't mean to kill her, I just wanted her to shut up.... I can't say that I hated her. Hell, she may have left me with my grandparents when I was two weeks old, but she did put me in this world. Even though she shot herself in the stomach during the pregnancy." In other words she told her son that she had attempted to abort him with a gunshot and he believed her: "They wouldn't try to remove the bullet, for fear of damaging the spinal cord."
FURTHER IN THE VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
I observed that
- the three incidents of physical injury and death attributed to Beatty (in 1984, 92 and 2003) seemed to follow a pattern where he was set up to be the fall guy in a scenario that had been staged behind his back by his relatives. After the injury or death occurred, there was no unbiased inquiry into the events leading up to the incident and the blame was cast entirely on Beatty and his bad intent was taken for granted.
- In 84 (13:05) he was required to babysit his 18 month old niece while busy working from home on an electric project. The child was electrocuted and Beatty was charged with deliberate injury to a child, for which he served time in prison. The mother's wisdom in imposing the care of her young child to a man who was busy with a dangerous occupation was never questioned;
- In 92 (17:46) he was on parole at his mother's home and the day the parole officer was due for a control visit, Beatty's mother had allowed the household to become dirty and untidy. Seeing his freedom compromised by the unkempt household due to his mother's ill will, Beatty became more and more anxious and angry until he struck and injured her. There is no detail on what triggered the assault but we know that if Click allowed the clutter and dirt to accumulate over several days, Beatty's anxiety must have built up and reached a paroxysm the day the parole officer was due to visit;
- On november 25, 2003 the tragedy unfolded in several calculated steps:
- First, they had an argument in the morning and Callie used the occasion to tell him that he had to move out by December 16. Or rather it was the other way around: Callie wanted to hurt Tracy's feelings by making him feel rejected, which would trigger a day-long alcoholization. So she needed to set the stage, and what better way for the most stinging rejection than during an argument, where she could fling an eviction deadline in his face?
- As expected, Tracy drank alcohol all day. The unprovoked argument and the vicious eviction notice were making him anxious and depressed, and he tried to stay calm and tamp down his misery by getting drunk. He had just gotten a new job, now he had another problem to solve. When Lieanna showed up after work he was sitting on her porch as usual. They ate dinner and watched TV, then at 10PM he went back to Callie's home.
- Callie was sitting in an armchair waiting for him and as soon as he crossed the threshold she started a scene. She knew that he'd been drinking all day because that's how he dealt with stress. And she knew that it didn't take much to set him off when he was drunk. So she started screaming at him and she wanted to discuss something, and he said he just needed to sleep and they'd talk about it in the morning when he was sober.
- While Tracy was trying to leave the living room she jumped up and grabbed him by the hair. It was the first time she physically assaulted him and he was taken by surprise and furious. He grabbed her by the throat and told her to let go off of him or he was gonna beat her up, but instead of letting go...
- She "kneed [him] in the nuts". That was the last straw and he squeezed her throat to make her shut up and let go of him. It was only when he found her in the same place the next morning that he realized she was dead.
- on two occasions Beatty indicates that he was aware that his mother was trying to have him sent back to prison (18:46, 32:05); what he meant by that was that he was aware that his mother was provoking him to assault her. She also put the idea of murder in his mind by tempting him to strike her with a hammer, as seen in the Court of Appeals' Decision, with a tool or a knife found in Wilkerson's house (24:23), and by telling him where she wished to be buried (34:23) However Ward expresses contempt and sarcasm that Beatty doesn't take full responsibility: at 13:30 she says "even now, décades later, he can't admit what he did."; at 18:46 she says "So even though it was his own fault he was back in jail, he blamed his mother...; at just before 29:41 she says ""So did she kind of have it coming because she was poking at you?" at 32:05 she says "... from a moment of possible remorse to now saying she goaded him into killing her just to put him back in jail."; at 33:40 she says " ...Beatty has shown no remorse for killing his own mother. In fact he still acts like she had it coming." But Beatty who is unaware of the bias against him, has no difficulty taking responsibility at the end: at 40:04 he says "Yeah, for doing something like I did, I have to accept responsibility for it, you know."
- On several occasions Ward asks Beatty how he feels about his daughters: at 10:14: "You had a couple of daughters, how did you feel about them?"; at 10:46: "Did you love them?" at 20:11: "So you love your girls?" and at the very end "Your daughter wants to to be at your execution. Do you know that?... How do you feel about her wanting to be there? as if to probe whether Beatty has any misgivings about them or suspicion about Tamara's true motive for attending his execution.
OTHER OBSERVATIONS AND QUESTIONS- Beatty buying a turkey for Thanksgiving shows he was in a goodwill, cooperative state of mind towards his mother.
- His car trip to his cousin Killough around 5PM the day of the killing is hard to reconcile with the version that the killing took place after 10PM.
- Since he undressed his mother, didn't he look on her "stomach" to see the scar the old bullet wound she told him about had left on her skin?
- If she had been shot the night she was killed, didn't he see a fresh bullet wound? Or did he avert his gaze from his mother's nude body out of respect?
- I find it very strange that defense counsel spoke of the absence of "smoking gun evidence" to explain why he didn't bring up the victim's personality, considering that there is indeed blood evidence that suggests the victim received a gunshot wound.
- Defense counsel could have helped Beatty by presenting evidence of a difficult personality of Beatty's mother in terms of undiagnosed mental illness instead of a character assassination that would have antagonized the jury. Counsel could have called family members as witnesses who would have testified to Click's shocking behavior and explained why she was rejected by the family.
- Why wasn't there a single character witness to speak in favor of Beatty?
- In astro, there is no evidence of violence or cruelty in Beatty. He has Moon in late Aries (time of birth unknown) giving him an impatient nature. Mars retrograde in early Cancer makes his aggression passive-aggressive, likely to infuriate the other and in Clic's case, provoke a loud argument. The mars energy is involved with matters of the home and family so it's predictable that the two would clash on domestic affairs. The story that when he returned home at 10PM and Click barred him the way to the bedroom which was the trigger for the physical fight is congruent with his Moon in Aries.
- Defense counsel Hawk: "From a strategic standpoint, the danger you have in trying to make the victim of a homicide, who is the mother of the défendant, into the reason for her own death, has got to be clear, nearly to the point of a smoking gun, before you can float that out ther, because of the potential for an offensive take by the jury... In retrospect, we'd do almost everything different because now we know what we tried lost. But at the time we had to process it through what we knew to make it the best possible position for the best possible result." I do believe what he calls "smoking gun" clear evidence, could have been shown to exist in an incremental stress between the two parties who exacerbate each other, and the culmination by the barring of the access to the bedroom and physical aggression by the defendant's mother the night of the killing.
I wish to remind the reader that the life insurance policy scam is not verified and is only a hypothesis at this time.
Paris, September 9, 2015
This investigation has progressed and as of June 20, 2016 a more detailed and more accurate picture of what really happened has taken shape. Out of respect for privacy, the updated report will be communicated only to persons who have Tracy Beatty's power of attorney.